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October 12th 2018

60 seconds with Miss Dickinson, Head of Computer Science

From supporting bank traders to volunteering in Kenya, Miss Dickinson tells us all.

Tell us about yourself

Mr Nott and I teach Computer Science throughout the school. From Year 7, students program in Scratch, Swift and Small Basic, then move on to HTML and Python. We learn about the processor, memory and storage, as well as networks and binary. I lead our department in terms of our strategic plans and the curriculum, we make a great team.

How long have you worked here? Tell us about your career path.

I’m in my sixth year at Blackheath High. After graduating, I volunteered for a year in Nairobi, Kenya, supporting IT for the Sudanese church. When I got back, I worked for a consultancy and two investment banks. Being first line support on the trading floor has its challenging moments and being there watching 9/11 unfolding was quite transformational.

How does your previous experience benefit the school?

With a degree in Computing, I am a specialist teacher with experience in both industry and different schools. Supporting bank traders making millions of pounds in a few hours, I know what it’s like to work for a successful global company and am passionate about enabling young women to get into this exciting industry.

What do you like most about your job?

The moments of realisation – when a student finds & fixes the bug in her code, when her program works and she can play the game. Enabling students to program their phones, manage their social media and stay safe online, while gaining qualifications which will help them in whatever career they choose.

What makes working here at Blackheath High School so rewarding and enjoyable?

Our students are so enthusiastic about their learning. Watching a student start in Year 7, mature and progress through to Year 11 and beyond is incredibly rewarding. Knowing you’re part of her journey and have made an impact on her life, makes working here enjoyable and worthwhile.

What has been your biggest achievement at Blackheath High School?

Fantastic GCSE exam results! We have gone from strength to strength and this summer, 75% of our GCSE Computer Science students got grade A*/A equivalents, which is an amazing achievement. Lots of Year 10 students also chose to study GCSE Computer Science, which is a testament to what a great year we’ve had.

What has been your biggest challenge at Blackheath High School?

Changing how we talk about Computer Science – eliminating ‘ICT’ and replacing it with Computing or Computer Science, which reflects both what our students are learning and the technology of the future.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love films, reading & travel.

Tell me something surprising about yourself

I have a rescue cat, who last week stole and ate a croissant, a packet of pancakes and a loaf of bread!

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